EAN-8 Barcode - A barcode of the EAN/UPC symbology that encodes EANUCC-8 identification numbers.

Symbology - The term symbology (the study or interpretation of symbols) refers to the structural characteristics of barcode symbols.

EAN/UCC-8 Identification number - The EANlUCC identification number comprising eight digits used to identify trade items and special applications. In Australia, member companies must apply to EAN Australia to obtain an EANUCC-8 number. EAN Australia allocates the first seven digits (the EANlUCC company/item reference) to member companies.

The EAN-8 check digit is calculated according to the Modulo 10 algorithm. (See Check Digit Calculation below).

The Human Readable Characters (HRC) are positioned at the base of the barcode. A recommended font is the OCR-B.

Magnification Factor

The EAN-8 symbol is described by the Magnification Factor. The allowable limits being 80% to 200%. For each magnification there is a recommended (or nominal) height. This height is recommended to ensure symbol readability when read by a multi-directional scanner, therefore any reduction in height (or truncation) should only be attempted if absolutely necessary. Refer EANUCC-8 barcode size charts.

EAN-8 has a set of allowed tolerances for the quality of the printed code. These measurements relate to the maximum variation in the width of a single bar or space and vary according to magnification factor:












+/- 101µ





























As the above table shows, the tolerances allowed reduce rapidly for magnification factors below 100%. For this reason, the final print method should be considered carefully when choosing a magnification factor. For example, some printing presses are too variable to consistently print small (eg. 80%) EAN-8 codes.

Check Digit Calculation

In common with most other barcode implementations, EAN-8 symbols also have a check digit which is the last number on the right. It is used to check for an error in scanning or data entry. The most common error found with the transcribing or keying of data is that of transposition (reversing the order of two digits). Therefore, the following mathematical formula (Modulo 10) is used:

Modulo-10 algorithm

EAN-8 digit number without check digit: 9 3 1 2 3 4 5 

Step 1
Starting with the first number on the right, add all the alternate numbers. Multiply the result by three. 
         5 + 3 + 1 + 9
 = 18 x 3 = 54

Step 2
Starting with the second number on the right, add all the alternate numbers. 
         4 + 2 + 3 = 9

Step 3
Add the results of steps 1 and 2.
         Total = 63

Step 4
The check digit is the smallest number which when added to the total in Step 3, produces an exact multiple of ten.

In this example, 63 + 7 = 70, therefore the check digit is 7.

EAN-8 digit number with check digit: 9 3 1 2 3 4 5  7

Note: If the result of Step 3 is an exact multiple of 10, then the check digit is 0 (not 10).

Light Margins

All barcode types require a certain amount of light space (or quiet zone) to the left and right of the code. This enables the scanner to differentiate between the barcode and surrounding graphics. Should the wrong type of graphic image or colour intrude on the light margin, there is a risk that the barcode will not decode, or worse, will decode incorrectly.

Minimum Light Margins (EAN-8):

Left Light Margin
Right Light Margin
1.85mm 80% 1.85mm
1.97mm 85% 1.97mm
2.08mm 90% 2.08mm
2.20mm 95% 2.20mm
2.31mm 100% 2.31mm
2.43mm 105% 2.43mm
2.55mm 110% 2.55mm
2.66mm 115% 2.66mm
2.78mm 120% 2.78mm
2.89mm 125% 2.89mm
3.01mm 130% 3.01mm
3.12mm 135% 3.12mm
3.24mm 140% 3.24mm
3.47mm 150% 3.47mm
3.70mm 160% 3.70mm
3.93mm 170% 3.93mm
4.16mm 180% 4.16mm
4.39mm 190% 4.39mm
4.62mm 200% 4.62mm

EAN Australia Customer Service

National Number 1300 366 033

Axxess Corporate Park
Unit 100/45 Gilby Road
Mt Waverley VIC 3149
Lake Business Park
Building 4B, 2-4 Lord Street
Botany NSW 2019


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